typical phone call with the pops, at least twice per week, for the last several months:

him: hello?
me: hi, dad, it’s emily.
him: oh, hi emily!
me: how ya doing?
him: i’m really looking forward to going to maine this summer. i’m looking forward to seeing you. [then on and on about being excited about maine, ad nauseum.]

this morning’s phone call:

him: uh, hello… ?
me: hi dad, it’s emily.
him: oh, hi.
me: i bought my plane ticket. i’m coming to bring you to maine the first week of june.
him: i’m going to maine? well, nobody said anything about that.
me: oh, really? that’s strange. well, we’re going!
him: i’ll look forward to that, then. something to look forward to. maine.

i wonder what it’s like in there. i wonder how the gaps come, and why. i figure they must be important for something. i like to think the gaps are caretakers of some sort… soothers of loss, benefactors of a necessary denial. i hope i never find out for myself, but if it comes to that, i doubt i’ll mind. he doesn’t seem to, not anymore. he’s like a new person every day. in a way, i think we all are. newness suits us all quite nicely, if we just let it come.



skinned knees.

sometimes life just gets… pushy or something. maybe you can imagine what i mean. i’m not sure myself, really, what i mean. all i know is, i don’t want to push back. i just want to spend long days tending to this plot of land i call my home and just be here. i want to make friends with those nesting birds (they are bushtits, the sweetest sweetie pies) and speak gentle words with my neighbors. i want to build a little terrace out of stone. i want to dig up a patch of grass and make a new garden instead and plant iris and euphorbia and veronica, if only because i want to say their names.

i have done all of that and more and have skinned knees and sore muscles and dirty fingernails to prove it.

i realize my posts have been hit or miss. words are mostly in my head these days, or on my lips. cigarettes aren’t on my lips anymore, and i don’t even want them. this is major! i’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately, about how i’d like for him to go peacefully, without things getting messier (as they are). also, about how i wish he’d live forever. magical thinking. i bought a plane ticket last week to go and visit him in may. i made beef stroganoff last night. don’t you love that stuff? it’s been years since that has crossed my lips. it was delicious and comforting, like childhood, like growing up.



it was one of those weeks where every day felt like everything all at once. sort of a beautiful mess, really. it rained all week. i quit smoking. i’ll gloss over that one real fast, friends, because smoking, for me, has been quite the shameful self-loathing machine for the last many years and i would rather not go into the gory details. smoking felt like a big huge lie and i don’t much care for liars, so you might imagine the conundrum. i was a closet smoker. the whole deal was just gross. the carpenter smoked, too, and we’d had an april 1st plan set for quite some time… & we did it! april first seemed an auspicious time to stop fooling ourselves. i read this book, and it did help. easy…? no. there have been night sweats, nightmares, irritability, cravings, weirdo hormonal shifts, and tears, but these symptoms are all improving. acupuncture is helping. and so is all of the mounting evidence of feeling betterness, mentally and physically. i am so relieved to let it go, shame included. hi, freedom. nice to see you again.

and now there’s a bit of extra time in every day, too. time for the other stuff i’ve been putting off. like re-grouting my floor tiles, down on my hands and knees. la la la. back soon for show & tell. xoxo

weekend updates.

♥ update number one: i’ve got some (slightly disappointing) news: you won’t see my shining face gracing the tv on wheel of fortune. the fed-ex man didn’t bring me a letter. i won’t be choosing r, s, t, l, n, or e. i won’t be building a new deck on the back of the house with an outdoor shower & hot tub with my hefty winnings. but that’s okay; i’m cool with it. the whole wheel thing provided me with hours of amusement, a trip to the ocean, and the privilege of being the recipient of one most excellent practical joke. it also provided me with some hope, some extra spunk, some fantastically egomaniacal counting-chickens-before-they-hatch through some winter days. if you’ve missed the saga, you can read about it here and here and here. okay, wheel, we’re over!

♥ update number two: my cat contimews to be awesome. i had a hunch about frida from the moment i met her, and although she’s mostly graduated from the early days of lounging on the princess bed (she’s more into human furniture now), she’s still my little princess. her transformations are constant source of enjoyment around here. i mean, she herself enjoys most everything about life… especially when she’s being pampered, which means, to her, just about anything associated with receiving loving care. this cat even enjoys getting her nails clipped! she’s like, “yes! time for my mani! purr purr purr! here are my fingers! clip away! wait a second, could you please pause for a moment? i need to rub my head on the clippers and tell them i love them! ok! now let me rub my head on you! i love you! okay, clip away!” and so, lest you think i’m evil for “making her wear” a princess tutu, remember that playing dress-up equals attention equals enjoyment equals this cat effing rocks at loving life, and i love her for it. serious gratitude. she’s like the best dream i’ve ever had, but real.

♥ update number three: only forty-six more granny squares to make before i can start piecing the blanket!

♥ update number four: i don’t like having an etsy shop and am waaayyy over it. actually, i got over it months ago, and closed my shop after my very first (and only) sale (those rad julep tumblers up there), when i realized how much time/ thought/ energy went into finding/ styling/ photographing/ listing/ writing about the items, and then wrapping/ packaging/ labeling/ shipping them. and then further when the purchase was stolen during shipping. and then further when i spent literally hours on hold with the postal service. no thank you.  i like thrifting for myself, and for people i know, and i’m going to stick with the pleasure of that.

♥ update number five: pretty sure the birds decided the clematis wasn’t their best bet, after all. no further progress on the nest. maybe they’re just taking a break? doubt it. at least i’ll be able to prune it back when it starts going wild. edit!! they’re back at it!

♥ update number six: it might’ve been the rainiest march on record here in portland, but there’s evidence of springtime anyway, everywhere i look. i am hopeful, yes. warm days and sunshine ahead.

also, i am hopeful for a happy april for you all. no fooling. (yep. totally corny.)